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Since taking on Alibaba’s top international communications role last year, Jennifer Kuperman has overseen a visible shift in the Chinese e-commerce giant’s global reputation, thanks to a concerted effort to ensure foreign countries better understand the company’s remarkable offering and growth story. Kuperman has worked tirelessly to build a corporate affairs team that befits Alibaba’s rise into one of the world’s biggest brands, amid a challenging media environment that sometimes appears hostile.
Those efforts are highlighted by this year’s Gateway17 event in Detroit, which Kuperman developed and ran —bringing together 3,000 American small businesses, entrepreneurs, and farmers to learn how they can grow their businesses by exporting to China, underscoring Alibaba’s US strategy to successful effect. Meanwhile, Kuperman also secured Alibaba founder Jack Ma the cover of Fortune’s 50 greatest world leaders issue, ahead of considerable competition, helping to demystify perceptions of the company.
Kuperman was previously SVP and head of corporate marketing and reputation at Visa, and also served as the chief of staff to Visa’s CEO. She began her career as a management consultant with Accenture.
Can you share a moment in your career that you recognized PR's direct impact on business performance?
Alibaba Group recently hosted Gateway ’17, a conference which brought together 3,000 American small businesses, entrepreneurs, and farmers to learn how they can grow their businesses by exporting to China. The event is named “Gateway” because we believe Alibaba can be the gateway for US SMEs to China. Gateway ’17 – and the opportunities which will spring from it – are central to Alibaba’s U.S. strategy and commitment to support U.S. job creation. My team created and executed the event which cemented our strategy in the United States, supporting business development, government relations and building our reputation outside of China.
What are the industry's biggest challenges and opportunities?
The fast changing technology impacts our business hugely both in scope, diversification and how we execute. Driving this change and embracing it is our biggest opportunity and our biggest challenge.
How do you handle the unexpected?
How do you relax?
Hanging with my 3 and 6 year old daughters (often with a glass of wine in my hand!)
Book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
Thank You for Smoking
If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
opening a restaurant with a focus on artichokes.
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